Summary of Talk Lean

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International trainer Alan H. Palmer bases his “talking lean” concept on the work of his mentor, Philippe de Lapoyade, founder of the Interactifs Discipline. This strategy helps people be more effective by speaking in a direct, concise and polite way. Palmer, a former international advertising professional, expands on this approach. He explains how to gain respect by asking for what you want or need. His suggestions cover common business and personal situations, including dealing with tardy employees or overbearing managers, gaining new clients, and running meetings. He cautions readers not to use his examples as “scripts,” but to speak in language that’s natural. getAbstract recommends this practical manual to managers, trainers, meeting organizers and anyone who would like to speak more directly.

About the Author

Alan H. Palmer worked in international advertising in London and Paris until he came across the Interactifs Discipline in 2004. Palmer now works as an international trainer for Interactifs.



Politely to the Point

“Talking lean” refers to how most people want you to speak to them. People like being spoken to in a clear, straightforward, polite way, regardless of their relationship with the speaker – whether a supervisor, co-worker, relative, teacher or friend. Few people know how to speak concisely without seeming rude. Conversely, courteous people often fail to assert themselves, so they don’t get what they need or want.

Say that a financial adviser meets with a wealthy prospective client who was referred to him by a current client, who is named John Smith. The adviser opens with, “Well, first of all thanks very much for agreeing to see me. I’m delighted to be here. I was hoping today that we could at least get to know each other a bit – and I’ve also brought along some material describing some of our industry-leading products.” This opening is polite but long-winded. Instead, the adviser might say that he seeks, “a clear understanding of what...[those of us at] XYZ Bank need to do to have a chance of getting a mandate to manage your wealth, just as we do for Mr. Smith.” Another option would be to say: “Given John Smith’s recommendation, I’m approaching...

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